She met some of our region’s most innovative young people who are participating in the programme, before taking part in a round table discussion hosted by Nexus Director Dr Martin Stow and Richelle Schuster, Head of Programme Innovation at Leeds City Council. Entrepreneurs from the BUILD programme and Nexus members, Liam Wright at Innotech Insights and Saile Villegas at See AI, shared their start-up innovation journeys and experiences of accessing support through the Leeds innovation ecosystem.
Tracy commented: “Both Nexus and the BUILD programme are contributing to our region’s ambitions for innovation. Providing established businesses, start-ups and young people with the opportunity to develop an idea with academic support, access to specialist facilities and structured programmes to instil the confidence for innovators to pursue their ambitions.
“It was inspiring to hear from young people who are so passionate about tackling some of the most challenging of issues of our time, from sustainability and the climate emergency to health and addressing poverty. The summer camp is supporting the next generation and nurturing those with a passion and desire to create a better future. We need to continue to create opportunities for future generations to make a positive change in the world and I am committed to supporting any way in which we can do that in the region.”
Tracy also joined Martin Stow and Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research & Innovation at University of Leeds for a tour of Nexus, meeting some of our member businesses. Martin comments:
“It was a real privilege to show the Mayor of West Yorkshire around the Nexus building, including our co-working spaces and lab facilities and to introduce her to our community to talk about some of the incredible work taking place here at the forefront of university and business collaboration.
“She was able to see how Keracol utilise food waste and expertise in organic chemistry and colour pigmentation, for sustainable innovation in the organic beauty industry and heard about Scaled Insights’ interactive tool BiasProof – currently being piloted within the Nexus community – which measures unconscious bias relating to race, gender and body size, with the potential to help organisations to initiate vital change.
“She also enjoyed an interactive “digital twin” demonstration by Slingshot Simulations, showing how data modelling technology can help predict which areas across our region are most likely to be affected by flooding or road traffic accidents.”
Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, University of Leeds, said:
“As ever, the Nexus community came together to make this a truly inspiring experience. We were delighted to meet Tracy and give her a flavour of the innovations and collaborations taking place within the community and across the University of Leeds. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with partners across the innovation ecosystem towards a shared vision for positive impact both on our regional economy and wider society.”
Investment Zone boosts Leeds’ innovation ambitions and vision
The investment in digital and healthtech will accelerate plans for the Leeds Innovation Arc, kickstarting the development of the Innovation Village on the Leeds General Infirmary site with the refurbishment of the Old Medical School to create a healthtech innovation hub.